This Week in the Metaverse (W19.2023)
What I read and wrote this week + recent episode of Into The Metaverse podcast: A conversation with Timoni West of Unity + new takeaways on virtual worlds
Hey, Yon here! Welcome to Into The Metaverse. My mission is to help you understand what is the metaverse, how it will impact our lives, and what opportunities it unlocks. If you are a marketer, entrepreneur, investor or simply a curious professional, Into The Metaverse is for you. Subscribe to get access to every letter and podcast show that I publish.
Let’s dig in!
(1) What I Read This Week
Roblox announced first quarter earnings and shares rose 7.4% on May 10 → I continue to be bullish (naturally about virtual worlds and creator-led platforms like Roblox and Fortnite Creative among others, and Roblox is gradually evolving its business to manage costs while containing to provide next-gen tools to its committed developer eco-system.
The disappearing computer -- and a world where you can take AI everywhere → I’m incredibly impressed by the work that Humane is doing but hesitant with seeing this product line as a mobile disruption. I believe we’re still very much in the era of smartphones-first human-technology interaction and suspect this will remain for at least the next 5-10 years until a true breakthrough will hit the market, potentially enabled by, but not necessarily dominated by, AI.
AI Is Hot—But Meta Is Still ‘Really Interested in the Metaverse,’ Exec Claims. Meta’s short-term focus has shifted towards AI, but an exec says that such tools will actually help its metaverse vision come to life.
Niantic's new Peridot Virtual Pet is a test vehicle for the future of AR, AI and shopping. More coverage in The Verge’s piece.
AI is shaping the metaverse - but how? Industry experts explain with this World Economic Forum’s essay.
‘The Voice’ free metaverse experience will let fans compete in virtual music battles and win prizes.
Almost half of UK consumers think the metaverse will become widely used in the next 10 years, new survey from KPMG UK finds → while i always take these survyes with a grain of salt, nonetheless good to see positive sentiment from young users on the emregence of the metaverse. As I keep telling folks, anyone below age 25 already lives in metaverse-type platforms. This is not a new phenomena for them.
The Practical Metaverse — A Guide for Non-Endemic Companies to Operate in the Metaverse → terrific piece on the metaverse by a fellow metaverse believer, Jon Pan.
CLO Virtual Fashion and Epic Games Together Invest in the Future of Digital Fashion. CLO Virtual Fashion, a global leader in digital garment solutions and the developer of CLO and Marvelous Designer, and Epic Games, the developer of Unreal Engine, today announced that the companies have purchased shares in each other.
Yuval Noah Harari (Sapiens) versus Yann Le Cun (Meta) on artificial intelligence. The annihilation of democracy or new age of Enlightenment? Best-seller Sapiens author Yuval Noah Harari and Meta head of research Yann LeCun debate.
Photorealistic 3D Tiles from Google Maps Platform in Cesium for Unreal. This tutorial guides you through importing Photorealistic 3D Tiles into your Cesium for Unreal projects.
Understanding the Economic Potential of the Metaverse → blog post written by Rob Sherman, VP Policy at Meta. Ket takeaway: (1) The metaverse is in the early stages of development, but the benefits to the global economy could reach up to US$3.6 trillion per year in additional GDP by 2035.
New research aims to bring odors into virtual worlds. More details in the Verge’s piece.
And this happened. Couldn’t agree with you more Tim! (his tweet is a response to this piece by Business Insider).
(2) A recent episode on Into The Metaverse podcast: A conversation with Timoni West of Unity - on digital twins, metaverse, and disruptive technologies
Joining me on this episode is Timoni West, VP & GM of Digital Twins at Unity, in what is likely one of the most fascinating conversations I had on the podcast.
Timoni is responsible for Unity’s cloud apps and services in industrial, automotive, commercial, and business markets, delivering value for customers moving into real time, simulation, reconstruction, and rendering. She runs a P&L with a team of 230+ people. Prior to this role, she was vice president of emerging tools and augmented and virtual reality, among other roles.
Timoni and I had a wide ranging conversation about virtual worlds, digital twins, ambient computing, artificial intelligence, predictive manufacturing, the future of industry, and why we’re only at the very beginning of a computing era that is smarter and more capable than we imagine.
On the metaverse:
"what we're really seeing here is that we're able to ingest massive amounts of data, often real time data, and then be able to record it, visualize it, or use it to power another device. And I think this has all kind of gotten swept up into what we're calling the metaverse today, but the old school, 1970s term was contextual computing where computers are able to take in contextual information from the world around them and able to do something cool.
On digital twins:
“with the Tyndall Air Force base, the large part of what they used our technology to do was to figure out how to make sure it did not get, Knocked down by a hurricane again because it was knocked down by a hurricane once. And hurricanes are also dangerous. So being able to not only take in the real-time information on the building site as they were building it out, but also be able to use historical data to figure out how to build the right thing in the future is I think a pretty great example of a digital twin.
Listen to the episode on: Apple / Spotify / Anchor.
(3) Pleased to have been a guest on two excellent podcasts in which we talked about Virtual Worlds and what it means for brands
Yon is the founder of CEO of Supersocial, a company that designs, builds, promotes, operates and grow cutting-edge virtual worlds on Roblox and beyond. Thank you for subscribing to Into The Metaverse. We grow when readers who appreciate our work spread the word.